We are getting in early this time in organising our fall conservation
trip. Please do not reply directly to me, or to the list as I will no
longer be on either list for the next three months. All correspondence
should be directed via Jim Lawson <71740.3177 at compuserve.com>.
Desert Springs Action Committee
Ash Meadows Work Party - OCT. 10-12, 1997:
The Desert Springs Action Committee in conjunction with the Bay Area
Killifish Association presents their latest conservation field day and
eco-tour to the Nevada desert.
During October 10-12 we will be undertaking conservation work at the
Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge under supervision of Fish and Wildlife
Service staff. Several graduate students, including Peter Unmack, will
be on hand to make this one of the best trips we have had to date.
Ash Meadows, Nevada is a very special place. It has a higher number of
endemic species for its given area than any other place in the United
States. This is primarily due to the presence of permanent freshwater
springs that allow life to flourish in the desert. Ash Meadows was also
the site of one of the longest environmental battles in North America,
(1967-1984). For a considerable time the area was threatened by
ranchers who diverted spring outflows and pumped excessive quantities
of ground water for irrigation, threatening the continued existence of
the springs. The next principal impact was a proposed desert city that
would have also required large quantities of ground water. As a
combined result of these impacts one fish species is extinct, and the
remainder are currently listed as Endangered species by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service. Today the area is a National Wildlife Refuge and
despite it's current protective status, problems still regularly occur,
i.e. exotic fish species are still introduced into springs threatening
native aquatic fauna.
Our primary objective is the removal of non-native organisms including
dambusia, mollies, largemouth bass, crayfish and bullfrogs. There will
be ample opportunity to see the native pupfishes and dace close up. We
may also have the chance to get a close view of the Devil's Hole pupfish
which usually remains behind locked gates. Please note however, no
native fish may be removed from the refuge as all are fully protected by
the Endangered Species Act.
We will likely be granted permission to camp at the refuge
headquarters, alternative accommodation is also available at the nearby
Longstreet Casino 1 800 508 9493. Ash Meadows is located a few miles
north of the CA-NV border on Hwy. 373 and is clearly marked with
signpost. Some cooking equipment will be made available and Jim
Lawson will be doing an outstanding effort as chef. Our stay out there
will be similar to a pot luck sharing items like chips, snacks, and fresh
fruit. The main stay of our foods will be provided by the Desert Springs
Committee. A $20 stipend towards the food is requested in advance and
covers a two day menu with a special BAR B QUE Friday night. Please
inform us if you intend to go so car pools can be organized if needed.
Contact Jim Lawson, 802 Arlington Way, Martinez CA 94553,
71740.3177 at compuserve.com, 510 335 9346 for further information
and required registrations forms. The non-refundable stipend is due
September 15, 1997.